Phil Bryant

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Phil Bryant
Governor Phil Bryant.jpg
63rd Governor of Mississippi
Assumed office
January 10, 2012
Lieutenant Tate Reeves
Preceded by Haley Barbour
31st Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi
In office
January 10, 2008 – January 10, 2012
Governor Haley Barbour
Preceded by Amy Tuck
Succeeded by Tate Reeves
40th Auditor of Mississippi
In office
November 1996 – January 10, 2008
Governor Kirk Fordice
Ronnie Musgrove
Haley Barbour
Preceded by Steven Patterson
Succeeded by Stacey Pickering
Personal details
Born Dewey Phillip Bryant
(1954-12-09) December 9, 1954 (age 61)
Moorhead, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Deborah Hays
Residence Governor's Mansion
Alma mater Hinds Community College
University of Southern Mississippi
Mississippi College
Religion United Methodism

Dewey Phillip "Phil" Bryant (born December 9, 1954)[1] is an American politician from the state of Mississippi who has served as the 63rd Governor of Mississippi since 2012. He previously served as the 31st Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi from 2008 to 2012 and as the 40th State Auditor of Mississippi from 1996 to 2008.

Bryant, a Republican, was elected as Governor in the 2011 gubernatorial election, defeating the Democratic nominee, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. He was reelected in the 2015 election, defeating truck driver Robert Gray.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Moorhead, Mississippi, Bryant was raised in Sunflower County, Mississippi in the Delta region, the son of Dewey C. and Estelle R. Bryant.[2] His father was a diesel mechanic.[3] Bryant's family moved to Jackson where his father worked for Jackson Mack Sales[4] and later Dewey Phil Bryant also worked at this business as Service Manager.[5] The year he was elected to the legislature he employed himself as an insurance investigator.[6] Bryant holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi following attendance at Hinds Community College. He earned a master's degree at Mississippi College where he would later, before and during his early years as Governor, teach Mississippi Political History.[7]


Bryant in 2008

Elected in 1990, Bryant served five years as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. He was the Vice Chairman of the Insurance Committee. He sponsored the Capital Gains Tax Cut Act of 1992. In 1996, he was appointed to be State Auditor by Republican Governor Kirk Fordice. Bryant was elected to a full term as State Auditor in November 1999 and re-elected in 2003.

In 2007, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, defeating the Democratic Party candidate, State Representative Jamie Franks.

Governor of Mississippi[edit]

2011 election[edit]

Bryant won the Republican primary in the gubernatorial election in 2011. He defeated Democratic nominee Johnny DuPree on November 8.[8]


On January 10, 2012, Bryant was sworn in as the 63rd Governor of Mississippi. Former Republican State Chairman Jim Herring, a lawyer from Canton, headed the transition team.[9] Once inaugurated, Bryant signed into law a bill requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals in an attempt to "end abortion in Mississippi". The state has a single abortion clinic, served only by out-of-state doctors who lack in-state admitting privileges.[10] Bryant faced against Democratic nominee Robert Gray in the 2015 gubernatorial election and won with over 66% of the vote. Bryant's election marked the first time since Reconstruction that a Republican had been elected to succeed another Republican as Governor.

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife, Deborah, have two children (Katie and Patrick).[11] They are members of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Brandon. [11]

Deborah Bryant had a professional career in hospital management at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, and is active in a number of health-related causes. [12]


  1. ^ Who's Who In America-2009 (63 ed.). Marquis Who's Who. 2008. 
  2. ^ 1976 Jackson City Directory
  3. ^ About Phil
  4. ^ 1971 Jackson City Directory
  5. ^ 1990 Jackson Suburban Directory
  6. ^ 1991 Jackson Suburban Directory
  7. ^ Lt. Gov. Bryant to teach part-time at MC
  8. ^
  9. ^ "James H. Herring". Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ Time Magazine, January 14, 2013, p. 43,,33009,2132761,00.html
  11. ^ a b "Phil Bryant". Friends of Phil Bryant. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant". 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Steven A. Patterson
Auditor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Stacey E. Pickering
Preceded by
Amy Tuck
Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Tate Reeves
Preceded by
Haley Barbour
Governor of Mississippi
Party political offices
Preceded by
Haley Barbour
Republican nominee for Governor of Mississippi
2011, 2015
Most recent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joe Biden
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Mississippi
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Governor of Indiana
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Mississippi
Succeeded by
Bruce Rauner
as Governor of Illinois